Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Wynns-John-Riddoch-Cabernet-Sauvignon-2009

Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Sale price$175.00
Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

Closure: Screwcap

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Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Coonawarra

Vintage: 2009

Critic Score: 98

Alcohol: 14.0%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2045


This is, unreservedly, one of the great Riddochs of all time. Persistence is relentless, precision is mind-boggling - Tyson Stelzer

First made in 1982, the John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon is the flagship wine of the Wynns portfolio. It is made in small quantities from the best available fruit grown on Wynns Coonawarra Estate's extensive Cabernet plantings. It is produced from the top 1% of available Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and is made only in the years when the grapes are of extraordinarily high quality. It has become the definitive Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, and is arguably richer and more concentrated than any other wine in the region. 

"There is an element of elusive mystery in the infant years of the most revered and ageworthy of all cabernets. Distinction is denoted more by high-tensile, tightly-wound energy than by overt expressiveness. I cannot recall a Coonawarra cabernet of the past twenty-five years that embodied this as exactingly as John Riddoch 2009. This is, unreservedly, one of the great Riddochs of all time and one of the most precisely honed wines to emerge from the revered terra rossa of Coonawarra in the modern era. It's shut up like a trap, reluctantly revealing fleeting glimpses of exact blackcurrant fruit that remain encased in a faultless shell of mouth-embracing tannins that assault the senses like 100% cocoa dark chocolate. Persistence is relentless, precision is mind-boggling and longevity brings promise at the very pinnacle of Coonawarra potential. Do not, under any circumstances, approach in the next twenty years, but its true reward will come in no less than thirty."  Tyson Stelzer

Matured in French oak for up to 26 months, John Riddoch in its youth is intense, almost black in colour. Rich, ripe and complex, the bouquet is a voluptuous infusion of red berry, chocolate, mint, mushroom and cassis-like cabernet aromas merging with lifted, spicy new oak. It is full-bodied with persistent and mouth-filling ripe berry flavour and excellent structure. This immensely powerful cabernet requires long term cellaring - 10 to 20 years - to fully appreciate its complexity.

Expert reviews

"There is an element of elusive mystery in the infant years of the most revered and ageworthy of all cabernets. Distinction is denoted more by high-tensile, tightly-wound energy than by overt expressiveness. I cannot recall a Coonawarra cabernet of the past twenty-five years that embodied this as exactingly as John Riddoch 2009. This is, unreservedly, one of the great Riddochs of all time and one of the most precisely honed wines to emerge from the revered terra rossa of Coonawarra in the modern era. It's shut up like a trap, reluctantly revealing fleeting glimpses of exact blackcurrant fruit that remain encased in a faultless shell of mouth-embracing tannins that assault the senses like 100% cocoa dark chocolate. Persistence is relentless, precision is mind-boggling and longevity brings promise at the very pinnacle of Coonawarra potential. Do not, under any circumstances, approach in the next twenty years, but its true reward will come in no less than thirty."  Tyson Stelzer, Wine Taste - 98 points

"A finely honed and classically drilled long-term cabernet whose heady, floral and sweetly oaked bouquet of cassis, mulberries, dark plums, cedar and chocolate reveal undertones of dried herrbs and violets. Deeply ripened, its long, complete presence of black and blue berries and plums knits tightly with creamy cedar oak, overlying a firm, powerfully structured spine of graphite-like tannins, finishing quite savoury with lingering notes of minerals and a hint of leather."  Jeremy Oliver - 97 points

"Strong colour; a very potent, deeply layered, full-bodied wine in which all of the expected Coonawarra cabernet characters coalesce: blackcurrant, blackberry, mulberry, earth and mint, and that's before you start talking about the classy oak or fine, ripe tannins."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 96 points

"Deep red to purple/black. Intense black fruit aromas, blackberry and blackcurrant: very cabernet and very fruit-driven. Elegant but full-bodied and intense, taut, firm structure. Very lively and buoyant with good acidity in harmony and plenty of drive and persistence. Impressive stuff: powerful, balanced and very long in the finish. Delicious flavour. Drink: 2015-2040."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 95 points

Sue Hodder

Sue Hodder

Sue Hodder is one of Australia's best-known winemakers. Sue grew up in Alice Springs and began her wine career as a viticulturist before moving into winemaking. She joined Wynns in 1993 as a winemaker under the guidance of Peter Douglas before being appointed senior winemaker in 1998.

Sue celebrated her 30th vintage at Wynn's in May 2022 in the same year that the winery celebrated 40 years of the winery's John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, named after the pioneer who first plated the vineyards back in 1891.

After 30 vintages, Hodder said: "I still have great joy in walking out the back door to our historic triple-gabled winery. While this beautiful building remains largely untouched, we do now use smaller tanks, oak fermenters, different oak barrels, and an optical berry sorter. These winemaking tools just enable us to be more confidently creative. Our winemaking team has had remarkably few changes over the years – we are a family at Wynns, and our house style remains clear.”

Sue Hodder has been the guiding light for Wynns since the nineties, supported by viticultural guru Allen Jenkins and winemaker Sarah Pidgeon. Over the last 20 years the team have overseen a program of revitalizing and replacing the old vines damaged by excessive machine pruning. Since 2002, 300 hectares of vines have been rejuvenated. They have also purchased the best winemaking equipment available, including an optical grape sorter that had "shocking" results, according to Hodder. "The main result is brighter fruit," she says. 

In addition, Sue has initiated a move to open fermentors in the winery and 100% French oak, which together with the viticultural improvements, have resulted in more elegant wines with greater fruit purity and very bright, precise fruit flavours and aromas. 

Sue and Allen were joint winners of the 2010 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Award, among many other accolades Sue has picked up in her esteemed career. In 2021 Sue became a Fellow of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) for her outstanding and meritorious contribution to Australian wine

About the winery

Wynns Coonawarra Estate

What is now Wynns Coonawarra Estate was founded by Scottish pioneer John Riddoch. He planted vineyards in 1891 and built the famous three-gabled winery. By 1897, 89 hectares of vines had been cultivated.  After a promising start, the Coonawarra Fruit Colony (as it was called then) failed to prosper due to its distance from major markets and poor economic conditions. John Riddoch died in 1901 at the age of 73.

In 1951, Melbourne wine merchants Samuel Wynn and his son David purchased Riddoch's original vineyards and winery and renamed the property Wynns Coonawarra Estate. The Wynns family recognised the intrinsic qualities of Coonawarra wines – their richness and intensity of fruit character – and set out to build an independent identity in the region. David took over the winery operations in 1953, and commissioned Melbourne artist Richard Beck to produce a woodcut of the winery facade. This illustration has appeared on every Wynns Coonawarra Estate label since, making it one of Australia's most recognised wine symbols.

Michael Shiraz (then called Hermitage) was a one-off from the 1955 vintage. The outstanding quality of the shiraz in one particular 2,300 litre vat was recognised for its quality, and bottled separately as Michael, named after David's first son. The second release of Michael Shiraz followed many years later in 1990.

Wynns increased its holdings in Coonawarra over the next two decades. By 1981, it was the largest grower in the district with 440 hectares under vine. The first wine bearing John Riddoch's name, the Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet, was produced in 1982.

David Wynn sold Wynns in the early seventies to focus on the Mountadam Venture with his son Adam. Over the last 50 years, Wynns has had many owners and in the new millennium, the company ended up in the vast portfolio of Treasury Wine Estates.

Today, Wynns Coonawarra Estate has 500 hectares of vineyards in Coonawarra and is the region's preeminent wine producer and largest single vineyard holder with the best and longest established vineyard sites in Coonawarra. Its wines are regarded as benchmarks for the district, lauded for their consistent quality, and depth of flavour.

Wine region map of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.

Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.

South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.